Tag Archives: technology

Can our #WoundedWarriors be transformed into …”The Six Million Dollar Man”?

six million dollar man 1

This is just flat-out cool, and I can think of no one more deserving of having access to this technology first than our magnificent Wounded Warriors:

(via Fox News) – “…A tragic cost of war is that many service members are missing limbs when they come home from combat. The U.S. military is working harder than ever to replace them with prosthetics that work just like the real thing. 

The high-tech whizzes at DARPA, the military research arm of the Defense Department, displayed some breakthrough technology for space, ocean, robotics and ground war at a Congressional Tech Showcase in Washington earlier this month…”

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A quick reminder about Social Interaction (via cartoonist Steve Kelley)

How many of us are guilty of this, even just occasionally?

Social Skills

**(Blogger meekly raises his hand)**

Just a little reminder, from one perpetrator to another…

Do YOU hate downtown parking? Here’s how one city fixed its problem…


Indianapolis has single-handedly renewed my hope that not every politician in our country is an idiot.

VIDEO is courtesy of Reason TV:

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Watching You

From TheWeek.com:

When you think of the surveillance state, you usually think of snoopy alphabet-soup government agencies like the FBI, IRS, DEA, NSA, or TSA, or cyber-snoops at Facebook or Google, says Natasha Singer in The New York Times. But there’s a company you’ve probably never heard of that “peers deeper into American life,” and probably knows more about you than any of those groups: Little Rock–based Acxiom Corp. Jeffrey Chester at the Center for Digital Democracy has dubbed Acxiom “Big Brother in Arkansas,” while Gizmodo‘s Jamie Condliffe calls it the “faceless organization that knows everything about you.”

So basically this is a data-mining corporation, or database marketer. In business since 1969, they have progressed from usage of the telephone book to legal plundering of the internet, amassing a portfolio which includes over 190 million people and 126 million households in the U.S. alone.

“So what?”, you say. For one thing, they might know much more about you than you may realize. Of course, perhaps you don’t mind that in addition to the normal info like age, race, sex, marital status, and education level, they also have your:

  • weight,
  • height,
  • politics,
  • buying habits,
  • household health worries,
  • vacation dreams,

— and on and on.

Armed with all this and more, they go to work.

(Acxiom) uses it to pigeonhole people into one of 70 very specific socioeconomic clusters in an attempt to predict how they’ll act, what they’ll buy, and how companies can persuade them to buy their products. It gathers its data trove from public records, surveys you’ve filled out, your online behavior, and other “disparate sources of information”, then sells it to banks, retailers, and other buyers.

And don’t forget about Uncle Sam. Seriously, what are the odds that they DON’T want more info on all of us? Which ultimately means that the list of people who don’t have all of my personal information is getting smaller than the list of those who do.


A little while after being freaked out by that article, I had just about untangled myself from the fetal position when I happened upon this piece from the Daily Mail:

Over recent years a range of miniature drones, or micro air vehicles (MAVs), based on the same physics used by flying insects, have been presented to the public. The fear kicked off in 2007 when reports of bizarre flying objects hovering above anti-war protests sparked accusations that the U.S. government was accused of secretly developing robotic insect spies.

….the US Air Force unveiled insect-sized spies ‘as tiny as bumblebees’ that could not be detected and would be able to fly into buildings to ‘photograph, record, and even attack insurgents and terrorists.’ Around the same time the Air Force also unveiled what it called ‘lethal mini-drones’ based on Leonardo da Vinci’s blueprints for his Ornithopter flying machine, and claimed they would be ready for roll out by 2015.

Ya’ know, living off the grid in a cabin in Montana keeps looking better and better to me.


In the last few weeks we’ve covered other similar stories, which made me just as uneasy. As a result, I really shouldn’t be surprised that there is a faceless company out there aggregating a huge dossier on me in order to accurately predict my behavior, any more than I should be shocked that the wasp or hornet buzzing near my patio may actually be a lethal electronic drone spy.

I just have one question that makes my scalp start to itch:

What if these two companies start working together?

Internet freedom vs. the U.N.

The United Nations is one of those topics that causes one of three reactions: (1) strident defense from the Left, (2) snarling disdain from the Right, …and (3) bored, yawning shrugs, which come from pretty much everyone else.

I understand the reason for all three, of course. The Right sees the U.N. as thieves and backers of every tin-pot dictator in the world, and I happen to agree. The Left adores the U.N., since its primary aim appears to be stealing from those mean old Western nations, (whom they resent) and giving to the poor, third-world dictatorships, socialist regimes and tyrants (whom they love). And everyone else sees it as some ethereal-yet-benign body, which doesn’t have anything to do with their daily lives.

If the U.N. gets their way, that last description will change, and in a hurry.

From cnet.com:

The United Nations is considering a new Internet tax targeting the largest Web content providers, including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Netflix, that could cripple their ability to reach users in developing nations.

The European proposal, offered for debate at a December meeting of a U.N. agency called the International Telecommunication Union, would amend an existing telecommunications treaty by imposing heavy costs on popular Web sites and their network providers for the privilege of serving non-U.S. users, according to newly leaked documents.

The article goes on to explain the costs associated with this and how it could cripple the internet forever. But this time there is a more insidious goal than simply money.

From wsj.com:

It’s easy to understand why countries like Russia, China and Iran would want to rewire the Internet, cutting off access to their citizens and undermining the idea of a World Wide Web. What’s more surprising is that U.S. diplomats are letting authoritarian regimes hijack an obscure U.N. agency to undermine how the Internet works, including for Americans.


The U.N. process is mind-numbing, but as Vincent Cerf, one of the founders of the Web, recently told Congress, this U.N. involvement means “the open Internet has never been at a higher risk than it is now.”


The broadest proposal in the draft materials is an initiative by China to give countries authority over “the information and communication infrastructure within their state” and require that online companies “operating in their territory” use the Internet “in a rational way”—in short, to legitimize full government control. The Internet Society, which represents the engineers around the world who keep the Internet functioning, says this proposal “would require member states to take on a very active and inappropriate role in patrolling” the Internet.

This is indefensible, but par for the course with this bunch. I could list other such U.N. meddling for days without once repeating myself:

…and the list goes on, and on, and on.

Boy-oh-boy, do I miss John Bolton.

The fact that the United States of America is the largest financial supporter of the U.N. since that organization’s founding in 1945 (providing roughly a quarter of their annual budget) gives us the right to question this international assemblage of thugs, which consistently manages to undermine freedom at every turn. We need to get a handle on what is being misspent by them, how, and why…and then stand up for freedom as we used to do….or we must seriously consider getting out altogether.

Because if we don’t choose one of those options, and quickly, we will be funding our own demise.